Monday Blues (03.28.11)

In my humble opinion, B.B. King was at his best in the sixties and early seventies. In many ways, his mainstream legend was built in those years, largely through his prolific and stellar live performances.

Here he is (in two parts) performing on “Ralph Gleason’s Jazz Casual,” the legendary show which ran from 1960-68.

Lowrider Event: March 30

It is with great pleasure I pass on this information of an upcoming event on the Scripps College campus…

Bajito y Suavecito / Low and Slow:
Cruising Through Lowrider Culture in Los Angeles


Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies
Cal State University, Northridge

March 30, 2011 @ 12 noon
Hampton Room, Malott Commons
Scripps College

Bring your lunch or purchase a lunch at the Malott Commons Dining Hall. The Malott Commons Dining Hall opens at 11:15 a.m.  Doors to the Hampton Room open at 11:45 a.m. Coffee and dessert provided.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Part of the Malott Commons Lunch Lecture.

Monday Blues (03.14.11)

Welcome to “Monday Blues”–the Spring Break Edition!

Here’s a little love song for you from Stevie Ray Vaughan (Texas, 1954-1990).  It’s his own tune, “Life Without You.”


The US Census released the California population data from the 2010 Census today. Here are some of the more interesting figures:

  • California’s total population is 37,253,957
  • About 37.6% of those people are Latino (14,013,719)
  • Some 4.8 million Californians (13%) are Asian

Non-Hispanic whites have dropped to about 40% of the total state population. This means that within the next decade, with natural reproduction and death rates what they are, California will become a Latino majority state.

Monday Blues (03.07.11)

Ike Turner (Mississippi, 1931-2007), “Rocket 88” (1951). (Listen to the song here.)

Born in the delta region of Clarksdale, Mississippi, the Kings of Rhythm included Raymond Hill and Jackie Brenston on sax, Willie Kizart on guitar, Willie Sims on drums, Jonny O’Neal on vocals, and Ike Turner on piano. In 1951 they headed up to Memphis to record some of their songs, including a group of tunes by Turner. They recorded the boogie woogie meets jump blues “Rocket 88” at the Memphis Recording Service, a small studio where owner and producer Sam Phillips recorded local talent and then licensed them to independent labels. In 1952, Phillips renamed the studio Sun Records when he started putting out records on his own label.

As the story goes, Kizart’s amp was damaged in the groups trip up the delta, creating the distortion on top of what was already a pretty jagged guitar line written by Turner. After hearing Turner sing on a couple of other recordings, Phillips recommended somebody else sing vocals on “Rocket 88.” Saxophonist Brenston was chosen. When Phillips sold the single to Chess, he credited it to “Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats.” The single went to #1 on the R&B charts later that year.

Some consider it to be “the” first Rock ‘n Roll sing ever recorded.